Felix Gives Us A Scare, But Is OK As Road Trip Moves To Round Rock

June 15, 2019

Felix Hernandez‘s rehabilitation start was shorter than expected yesterday, but not for any alarming reasons.

After coasting through the first two innings on just 23 pitches (allowing one tainted run), Felix faced three batters in the third inning and called for the trainer, leaving the game.

To viewers it appeared that he had some sort of setback as he recovers from a strained lat. Fortunately, the Mariners announced that he left the game with fatigue. This was confirmed by Rainiers manager Daren Brown, who had been ejected an inning earlier and had ample time to speak with Felix in the clubhouse.

The fatigue is a concern, of course. Felix only threw 31 of his anticipated 55-60 pitches. The good news is that he did not feel pain. He’s flying back to Seattle today and the Mariners medical department will decide what the next step is. A second rehab start for Tacoma during the upcoming homestand is certainly a possibility.

Meanwhile, the Rainiers have moved on to Round Rock to open a four-game series tonight. This is the second leg of Tacoma’s three-series, 12-game stretch against the top three teams in the PCL. Tacoma went 1-2 against San Antonio, which has the second-best record in the league. Now it is four games against third-best Round Rock, followed by five games at home against the league’s top club, El Paso.

Round Rock has been scoring massive amounts of runs lately (10.9 runs per game over the last ten), which is a concern for a Tacoma pitching staff that has a team ERA of 6.16. On top of that, the Rainiers offense has gone in the tank over the past 12 games, scoring 36 runs (3.0 runs per game) while batting at a .219 clip. The prolific Tacoma offense of May has faded away.

Maybe both trends will turn around in this series. They all do, eventually.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: San Antonio won the series by taking the third game last night, 6-1. The Rainiers were limited to four hits and scored just six runs total in the three-game series. Keston Hiura homered yet again – the Rainiers do not have to face him any more this season. Tacoma has dropped nine of the last 12 games.

ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday the Mariners recalled reliever Matt Festa and optioned Shed Long to Tacoma. Long is expected to report to the Rainiers today. Starter Justus Sheffield has been transferred to Double-A Arkansas to try to get back on track.

TODAY: Tacoma (32-36) at Round Rock (40-27), 4:05 Pacific.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Houston Astros.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Mickey Storey.

SEASON SERIES: 0-0.

PITCHERS: LHP Anthony Misiewicz (2-3, 5.52) at RHP Cy Sneed (4-6, 4.92)

HOT HITTERS: Austin Nola has hit safely in ten of his last 12 games… Kristopher Negron had a five-game hitting streak end yesterday… Ian Miller has reached base in eight straight games and has been successful in 13 straight steal attempts.

OPPONENT NEWS: The Express just won two-of-three from Reno… Round Rock scores a ton: they have tallied nine or more runs in seven of the last ten games… Houston Astros stars Jose Altuve and Collin McHugh each started rehabilitation assignments with the Express yesterday… Nick Tanielu has hit safely in 13 straight games, with 25 hits and 22 RBI during the streak… Anibal Sierra has an eight-game hitting streak… touted prospect Kyle Tucker has 21 home runs.

FAMILIAR FACES: Round Rock doesn’t have any former Rainiers, but they do have two local players. Taylor Jones graduated from Kentwood High School (Class of 2012) and played at Gonzaga before getting drafted. Nick Tanielu graduated from Federal Way High School and played two seasons at Washington State.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 3:50 on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

  • Marco Gonzales had a strong start and the Mariners beat the Oakland A’s on Friday night.
  • Ryan Divish has details on what’s happening with Justus Sheffield, and he relays scouts opinions on why he has been struggling.
  • Adam Jude chimes in with a review of Jerry Dipoto’s “step back” trades.

In the PCL:

  • Omaha took down Sacramento, 7-1. Jecksson Flores hit a three-run homer and Zach Lovvorn allowed just one run over 5.1 innings pitched. No, my keyboard is not broken. I don’t thinnk.
  • Cubs prospect Adbert Alzolay delivered another strong start, striking out nine with no walks over six innings in Iowa’s 7-2 win at Fresno.
  • Reno avoided being swept in Round Rock by going ballistic with the bats in a 16-3 win. Matt Szczur, Wyatt Mathisen, and Domingo Leyba each had three hits.
  • New Orleans ace Zac Gallen survived the El Paso test, allowing three earned runs on four hits (but three homers) over 5.1 innings in a 7-4 win. Gallen is now 9-1 on the year, and his ERA “ballooned” to 1.77.
  • Oklahoma City banged out a dozen hits and completed a three-game sweep with a 5-4 win at Albuquerque. Zach Reks had three hits and scored two runs.
  • Nashville starter Seth Maness limited Las Vegas to one run and the Sounds held on for a 3-2 victory.
  • Adolis Garcia had the game-winning hit as Memphis beat Salt Lake in the bottom of the tenth inning, 5-4.
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Felix To Rehab Tonight In San Antonio

June 14, 2019

Felix Hernandez is scheduled to make a rehabilitation start for Tacoma tonight, and surprisingly he is doing it on the road.

Typically a veteran like Felix gets to decide where he wants to make a rehab appearance, and he’ll pick somewhere close to home. Everett is opening its season tonight… on the road, at Tri-City. Modesto is home in the California League; he could have gone there.

Instead, why not visit a town he presumably has not been to since 2004?

Back when Felix was 18 years old, the San Antonio Missions were the Double-A affiliate of the Mariners. Hernandez pitched the first half of the season at Class-A Inland Empire, where Daren Brown was his manager. After 15 starts there, the M’s promoted their top prospect to San Antonio for his final ten starts of the season.

Felix went 5-1 with a 3.30 ERA in ten starts for the Missions, who were managed by Dave Brundage. He then opened the 2005 season with us in Tacoma.

Hernandez has been on the Mariners injured list since suffering a strained lat during his start on May 11th at Fenway Park. He is 1-4 with a 6.52 ERA in the majors this year.

Felix will probably pitch just a couple of innings, since this is his first rehab outing. Regularly scheduled starter Tyler Cloyd will follow him from the bullpen.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: San Antonio hit five home runs, including a home run cycle, and walloped Tacoma, 15-1. Keston Hiura hit a solo homer and a grand slam, Mauricio Dubon hit a two-run homer, and Lucas Erceg a three-run blast. Tacoma starter Justus Sheffield was touched for eight runs in 1.2 innings as the Rainiers were forced to go to the bullpen early.

ROSTER MOVES: There will be moves before today’s game, and they will be big league moves announced by the Mariners.

TODAY: Tacoma (32-35) at San Antonio (41-26), 5:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Milwaukee Brewers.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Rick Sweet.

SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1.

PITCHERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (–) at RHP Thomas Jankins (4-2, 3.88)

HOT HITTERS: Austin Nola had his streak of ten straight games reaching base come to an end last night… Kristopher Negron has a five-game hitting streak… Ian Miller has reached base in seven straight games and is 3-for-8 in this series.

OPPONENT NEWS: The Missions just went 4-3 on a road trip to Salt Lake (2-1) and Las Vegas (2-2)… they have the best record in the American Conference, but only a half-game lead over Round Rock in the American-South… David Freitas has a ten-game hitting streak, he has hit safely in 32 of his last 37 games, and he is batting .378… Keston Hiura is widely considered one of the top prospects in minor league baseball; he is 3-for-9 with two homers in this series.

FAMILIAR FACES: Catcher David Freitas is the only former Rainiers player on the Missions; he was with Tacoma earlier this season and traded to the Brewers. Reliever Taylor Williams is a graduate of Camas High School. Manager Rick Sweet grew up in Longview and is a former Mariners catcher.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 4:50 on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

In the PCL:

  • The River Cats are hot. Sacramento scored in the 11th inning to top Omaha, 5-4, as Ryan Howard (not that one) singled in the winning run. Sacramento has won four straight and seven of the last eight games.
  • Iowa’s Colin Rea won his seventh game as the Cubs held on for a 3-2 win at Fresno.
  • Nick Tanielu is on a tear for Round Rock. The WSU product drove in four more runs last night in a 10-8 win over Reno. He’s hitting .292 with nine homers and 47 RBI.
  • Salt Lake’s Jarrett Parker snapped an 11-11 tie with a two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning to give the Bees a 13-11 win at Memphis.
  • Las Vegas earned a 9-4 win at Nashville, as Sheldon Neuse went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI.
  • Oklahoma City pitched the rare shutout at Albuquerque in a 10-0 win. Dennis Santana started and went five innings, and four relievers closed out the six-hitter. The Dodgers issued seven walks and still pitched a shutout.
  • Former Mariners farmhand Gabriel Guerrero had four hits, a homer, and four RBI as New Orleans edged El Paso, 7-6.

Rainiers Win First Game At San Antonio

June 13, 2019

Tacoma played its first-ever game at Wolff Stadium in San Antonio last night, winning 4-2 in ten innings.

The ballpark’s reputation as a pitcher’s park showed in the first game, as we had a nice low-scoring contest. This happened without the notorious wind blowing in from right field – it was a still, pleasant night at the park.

Kristopher Negron defied the park’s reputation by hitting an opposite field homer to right in the fifth inning. People I spoke to before the game said homers to right field are quite rare at Wolff Stadium, and there was Negron lifting one out of here in the Rainiers first game at the yard. Negron has hit seven of his eight home runs this season on the road.

The stadium itself feels old, worn out, and lacks the charm of many older parks – it’s very much the cookie-cutter park that was common in the 1990s. Wolff Stadium was built in 1994, the same year that Salt Lake’s ballpark opened, and the difference between the two is enormous. Upkeep over the last 25 years is certainly a reason for the chasm between the two parks.

The park is nestled in between Kelly Field Air Force Annex and Highway 90. You’ve got airplanes landing past the left field fence, and cars whipping by beyond the right field fence. That’s the ambiance.

On the plus side, the people working here are great. They have several longtime employees who were here when San Antonio was the Mariners Double-A affiliate from 2001-2006, and we had fun reminiscing about some of the players who came through during that time and moved up to Tacoma. Daren Brown managed the Missions in that last season, 2006, before being promoted to Tacoma for his first time.

A new ballpark in a different part of town could really succeed here. The PCL made a play for the future when it moved the Colorado Springs franchise to this city.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: Tacoma won its first extra-innings game of the year, scoring twice in the top of the tenth inning for a 4-2 victory in their first-ever game at San Antonio. Tacoma’s pitching crew of Mike Wright, Ryan Garton, Matt Festa, and Parker Markel combined to toss nine scoreless innings after Nashville pushed two runs across in the first. Kristopher Negron had a big game, reaching base four times including a homer and an RBI single. Ian Miller drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the tenth with a single.

ROSTER MOVES: Prior to last night’s game the organization released reliever Nick Rumbelow. Rumbelow had a strong outing his last time on the mound but has struggled overall – yet with his velocity, he’ll get picked up by another club quickly.

TODAY: Tacoma (32-34) at San Antonio (40-26), 5:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Milwaukee Brewers.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Rick Sweet.

SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 1-0.

PITCHERS: LHP Justus Sheffield (2-5, 5.74) at RHP Burch Smith (3-3, 3.15)

HOT HITTERS: Austin Nola has hit safely in five straight games, and he has reached base in ten straight… Kristopher Negron has a four-game hitting streak.

OPPONENT NEWS: The Missions just went 4-3 on a road trip to Salt Lake (2-1) and Las Vegas (2-2)… they have the best record in the American Conference, but only a half-game lead over Round Rock in the American-South… David Freitas has a nine-game hitting streak, he has hit safely in 31 of his last 36 games, and he is batting .369… Cory Spangenberg has reached base in 16 straight games… Keston Hiura is widely considered one of the top prospects in minor league baseball.

FAMILIAR FACES: Catcher David Freitas is the only former Rainiers player on the Missions; he was with Tacoma earlier this season and traded to the Brewers. Reliever Taylor Williams is a graduate of Camas High School. Manager Rick Sweet grew up in Longview and is a former Mariners catcher.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 4:50 on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

In the PCL:

  • Zach Green hit a go-ahead three run homer – his second dinger of the game – as Sacramento had a come-from-behind 5-4 win over visiting Omaha.
  • Fresno scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, took a 7-3 lead, and barely held on for a 7-6 win over Iowa. Wilmer Difo hit his first homer for the Grizzlies.
  • Round Rock walked off Reno, 9-8, on Nick Tanielu‘s RBI single. Tanielu had four hits and drove in two runs. Tacoma will not be facing top prospect Forrest Whitely when they play Round rock this weekend.
  • Memphis rolled to an 11-5 win over visiting Salt Lake. Rangel Ravelo went 4-for-4 with a homer and scored four runs, and Tyler O’Neill had three hits with a homer.
  • Two hours and Nineteen minutes. That’s all it took for Tim Dillard and Nashville to shutout Las Vegas at First Tennessee Park. 2:19.
  • Oklahoma City out-slugged Albuquerque, 12-9, at Isotopes Park. Zach Reks hit a grand slam and Angelo Mora drove in four runs. Isotopes starter Kyle Freeland got bombed for nine runs.
  • El Paso showed New Orleans how we do it in the Pacific Conference, picking up a 10-9 win at Southwest University Park. Ty France had four hits, with both he and Jose Pirela connecting on three-run homers.

Rainiers Open Texas Tour Tonight

June 12, 2019

Tacoma starts a seven-game road trip to the Texas cities of San Antonio and Round Rock with a 5:05 (Pacific) game tonight.

This will be the Rainiers first-ever game against San Antonio, which is new to the PCL this season. The Colorado Springs franchise relocated to the Alamo City over the winter.

The ballpark is Wolff Stadium, which was built in 1994. The PCL would like a new park to be built in this city, preferably downtown, but there is no publicly revealed plan to do so.

Word around the league is that this is an extreme pitcher’s ballpark by PCL standards – especially when the wind is blowing in from right field. I guess we’ll see for ourselves in a few hours.

San Antonio fans are getting to see a very good team in their first year of Triple-A baseball. The Missions are 40-25, which is currently the best record among the eight American Conference teams. They have a strong pitching staff, and an elite prospect in infielder Keston Hiura.

Tacoma plays three games here, then four against Round Rock – which also has a very good club, sporting a 38-26 record. This looks like it’s going to be a tough road trip for the Rainiers, but Tacoma posted a 6-3 record on its last road trip and has been playing well away from home recently.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: The whole league was off yesterday. On Monday, Tacoma ended a four-game losing streak and avoided a sweep by beating Nashville, 3-1. Jon Niese delivered six shutout innings, and the bullpen made it stick with Matt Carasiti getting his first save for Tacoma. Kelby Tomlinson and Billy Cooke provided most of the offense, getting four of Tacoma’s six hits.

ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday the Mariners activated Dee Gordon from the injured list, and optioned reliever Matt Festa to Tacoma. Tacoma also added left-handed pitcher Sean Nolin, who was acquired from the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League. A roster move will be required when Festa reports to the team.

TODAY: Tacoma (31-34) at San Antonio (40-25), 5:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Milwaukee Brewers.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Rick Sweet.

SEASON SERIES: 0-0.

PITCHERS: RHP Mike Wright (0-1, 3.60) at RHP Zack Brown (1-4, 5.28)

HOT HITTERS: Austin Nola has hit safely in four straight games, and he has reached base in nine straight… Chris Mariscal had his eight-game hitting streak end on Monday.

OPPONENT NEWS: The Missions just went 4-3 on a road trip to Salt Lake (2-1) and Las Vegas (2-2)… they lost on Monday in Vegas, 17-7, allowing 19 hits… they have the best record in the American Conference, but only a 1.5-game lead over Round Rock in the American-South… David Freitas has an eight-game hitting streak, he has hit safely in 30 of his last 35 games, and he is batting .373… Cory Spangenberg has reached base in 15 straight games… Keston Hiura is widely considered one of the top prospects in minor league baseball; he had a nine-game hitting streak end on Monday.

FAMILIAR FACES: Catcher David Freitas is the only former Rainiers player on the Missions; he was with Tacoma earlier this season and traded to the Brewers. Reliever Taylor Williams is a graduate of Camas High School. Manager Rick Sweet grew up in Longview and is a former Mariners catcher.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 4:50 on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

In the PCL:

The entire league was off yesterday. On Monday, Sacramento moved into sole possession of first place in the Pac-North, with a one-game lead over Fresno and a 2.5-game lead over Tacoma. Also of note: former UW standout Jake Lamb started a rehabilitation assignment with Reno, collecting two hits and driving in three runs in a 6-4 win over Memphis.


Rainiers Try To Finish Homestand On Positive Note

June 10, 2019

The Rainiers finish their seven-game homestand with a day game today, starting at 11:35 AM. The way this homestand has been going, the guys on the team might be looking forward to getting back out on the road.

Tacoma has lost four straight games, and seven of the last eight overall. That includes a 1-5 record so far on this homestand. The club’s season-long record at Cheney Stadium has fallen off to 15-15.

Recently the Rainiers have been winning on the road. The club has won its last two road series, and went 6-3 on the last road trip.

The home fans have provided great support, especially this past weekend with big crowds at Cheney. Hopefully the team can finish off the homestand with a win today.

Tuesday is a day off for travel, and we will not have a blog update. On Wednesday the Rainiers start their seven-game Texas road trip with a 5:05 (Pacific) game at San Antonio, and I’ll have a series preview post up around mid-day.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: Tacoma was shut out for the second time this week, dropping a 3-0 decision to Nashville on Sunday afternoon. The Rainiers were limited to five hits and did not advance a runner past second base. Seth Maness and Wes Benjamin combined on the shutout, which was the first one pitched by Nashville this season. Tacoma’s highlight: reliever Nick Rumbelow delivered three scoreless innings, keeping the game close while Tacoma attempted a comeback.

ROSTER MOVES: Prior to yesterday’s game, the Rainiers added reliever Dan Altavilla from Double-A Arkansas, and sent reliever Jake Haberer to Arkansas.

TODAY: Nashville (25-38) at Tacoma (30-34), 11:35 AM.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Texas Rangers.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Jason Wood.

SEASON SERIES: Nashville leads, 3-0.

PITCHERS: RHP Pedro Payano (0-1, 5.63) at LHP Jon Niese (3-1, 5.06)

HOT HITTERS: Chris Mariscal has an eight-game hitting streak… Austin Nola and Kristopher Negron have each hit safely in three straight games. Nola has reached base in eight straight.

OPPONENT NEWS: Andy Ibanez had his eight-game hitting streak end yesterday… MLB veteran Matt Davidson has reached base in 16 straight games, and he ranks sixth in the PCL with 17 home runs… Eli White has homered in back-to-back games, and he has hit four homers over his last six games.

FAMILIAR FACES: Nashville catcher Adam Moore played for Tacoma in 2009-2010, and 2012. Good to see him still getting after it… reliever Josh Fields was briefly with Tacoma in 2011… Nashville hitting coach Howard “HoJo” Johnson served as Tacoma hitting coach in 2013.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 11:20 on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

  • The Mariners hit six homers and crushed the Angels on Sunday, winning the series two games to one.
  • One of the home runs yesterday was Edwin Encarnacion‘s 400th career dinger. Only 56 major league players have hit that many.
  • The News Tribune caught up with Dee Gordon as he rehabbed with Tacoma this weekend.
  • The Arkansas Travelers – Seattle’s Double-A affiliate – clinched a first half title in the Texas League last night. The Texas League plays a split schedule to reward teams that play well before mid-season promotions (note to Mariners: hint, hint).

In the PCL:

  • Sacramento made a stirring comeback at New Orleans, scoring twice in the top of the ninth to tie it 2-2, then two more runs in the tenth to win the game, 4-3.
  • Fresno also rallied in the ninth, pushing two runs across the plate to pull off a 5-4 comeback win at Oklahoma City. Yadiel Hernandez drove in the go-ahead run.
  • Memphis scored five runs in the seventh inning and won at Reno, 7-4. Rangel Ravelo and Adolis Garcia each collected three hits.
  • El Paso starter Kyle McGrath took a perfect game and a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning at Omaha, but then he lost the perfecto, the no-hitter, the shutout, and the lead. El Paso rallied and won in the tenth inning, 6-3.
  • San Antonio starter Bubba Derby was solid for six innings as the Missions won in Sin City, 4-1.
  • Salt Lake third baseman Matt Thaiss hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth inning to lead the Bees to a 6-5 win over visiting Round Rock.
  • Albuquerque leadoff man Yonathan Daza had two hits and four RBI as the Isotopes took down Iowa, 10-4.

Sunday Fun Day At Cheney

June 9, 2019

Looks like a beautiful Sunday for baseball at Cheney, and not sitting behind a computer typing, so let’s get to it.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: The Rainiers couldn’t get the offense going on Saturday night, dropping a 4-2 decision to Nashville. Tacoma had seven hits and drew seven walks – that’s 14 baserunners – but went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, grounded into two double plays, and left ten on base. Tyler Cloyd had a strong start, going six innings and allowing one run without walking anyone, striking out eight. The Rainiers have lost three in a row and six of the last seven games.

TODAY: Nashville (24-38) at Tacoma (30-33), 1:35.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Texas Rangers.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Jason Wood.

SEASON SERIES: Nashville leads, 2-0.

PITCHERS: RHP Seth Maness (3-1, 4.24) at LHP Anthony Misiewicz (2-2, 5.55)

HOT HITTERS: Robert Perez had his streak of hitting safely in seven straight and ten of his last 11 games end when he struck out as a pinch-hitter Friday night… Jaycob Brugman has homered in three of his first seven games for Tacoma… Chris Mariscal has an eight-game hitting streak.

OPPONENT NEWS: Nashville ended a five-game losing streak Friday night… Andy Ibanez has an eight-game hitting streak… MLB veteran Matt Davidson has reached base in 15 straight games, has a seven-game hitting streak, and ranks sixth in the PCL with 17 home runs… Eli White has homered in three of his last five games.

FAMILIAR FACES: Nashville catcher Adam Moore played for Tacoma in 2009-2010, and 2012. Good to see him still getting after it… reliever Josh Fields was briefly with Tacoma in 2011… Nashville hitting coach Howard “HoJo” Johnson served as Tacoma hitting coach in 2013.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 1:20 on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

  • Seattle got blasted by the Angels last night, although Tayler Scott did make his MLB debut and become the first South African to pitch in the majors.
  • Mariners beat writer Ryan Divish has his weekly Q&A, and after a litany of trade-related questions he does field a few involving Rainiers players.

In the PCL:

  • Miami Marlins infield prospect Isan Diaz got Sacramento last night, drilling a two-run homer in the seventh inning to lead New Orleans to a 4-3 victory.
  • Fresno had production throughout the lineup in a 9-4 win at Oklahoma City, and the Grizzlies moved into a first place tie with Sacramento in the crazy Pac-North. Taylor Gushue had two hits, a homer, and three RBI.
  • Reno’s bullpen starred in a 5-3 home win over Memphis. Stefan Crichton and Jimmy Sherfy delivered four shutout innings to close out the game.
  • Trailing 2-0 going to the eighth inning, San Antonio rallied and won in Las Vegas, 5-2. Keston Hiura sealed the game with a two-run homer in the top of the ninth; he’s batting .342 with 13 home runs for the Missions.
  • Round Rock bombed the Salt Lake Bees, 19-5. The Express had 23 hits, eleven of which were doubles. Drew Ferguson had a rare 6-for-6 game, with Nick Tanielu going 5-for-6 with three doubles. They did this without top PCL hitter Yordan Alvarez, who has been promoted to Houston.
  • Albuquerque defeated Iowa, 8-7, in the 12th inning when the I-Cubs ran out of pitching. Tied 6-6, Garrett Hampson hit a two-run homer in the top of the 12th inning off Iowa outfielder Jacob Hannemann. The Isotopes still had a real pitcher remaining, and Brian Holman finished off the win.
  • A wild ninth inning highlighted Omaha’s 7-6 win over El Paso. Trailing 5-4, El Paso’s Esteban Quiroz ripped a two-run homer in the top of the ninth for a 6-5 lead… but Omaha’s Jorge Bonifacio led off the bottom of the inning with a game-tying homer, and a couple of batters later Humberto Arteaga hit a walk-off double.

Rainiers Look To Pull Out Of Skid Today

June 8, 2019

The Rainiers lost to Nashville in the series opener on Friday night, 7-5, and Tacoma is in something of a funk right now. The club has lost five of the last six games, and has fallen two games below the .500 mark.

Three new, experienced players have joined the position player mix: Kelby Tomlinson, John Andreoli, and Jaycob Brugman. Two of them have come off a hiatus in which they have not played in at least three weeks. It’s going to take a little bit of time before they get into a groove (note: not Brugman – he came in on a tear!).

Rainiers manager Daren Brown has to learn his new personnel on the fly. He’s been trying different lineups each day to figure out how to best fit these guys in.

Even after adding three experienced players with major league experience, Tacoma still has two players from extended spring training among its 11 position players. There is room for prospects to come up from Double-A Arkansas once they clinch the first half title in the Texas League, which should happen in about a week. We don’t know if the Mariners Player Development Department decision makers plan to do this.

Tacoma will get to enjoy the speed game of Dee Gordon for the remainder of the weekend. He went 1-for-4 in his first rehabilitation game yesterday, and we saw that speed game when he… got picked off? Yup, he got picked off by tricky right-hander Tim Dillard. Well, it was Dee’s first game in a couple of weeks. We’ll give him a mulligan.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: Tacoma starter Justus Sheffield couldn’t get through three innings, issuing four walks in the third inning alone and allowing Nashville to score five runs. The Sounds never gave up the lead and went on to win, 7-5. Tacoma threatened to come back multiple times in the late innings, and ended the game with the tying runners on base.

ROSTER MOVE: Tacoma has added reliever Matt Carasiti, who was recently let go by Iowa despite posting a 2.67 ERA in 16 appearances. He has a career 2.80 ERA in 68 appearances in the PCL, all with Iowa and Albuquerque. Mariners infielder Dee Gordon started a rehabilitation assignment last night, going 1-for-4 in his first game. It has been reported that the Mariners have signed lefty starter Sean Nolin to a minor league deal; don’t know yet if he is reporting to Tacoma.

TODAY: Nashville (23-38) at Tacoma (30-32), 5:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Texas Rangers.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Jason Wood.

SEASON SERIES: Nashville leads, 1-0.

PITCHERS: RHP Esmerling Vasquez (–) at RHP Tyler Cloyd (1-4, 5.65)

Vasquez is a 35-year-old former major league reliever who the Rangers recently signed as a free agent. He pitched in five games for Double-A Frisco and was just promoted to Triple-A. He last pitched in the majors in 2012, since then he has pitched in China, Japan, and Mexico.

HOT HITTERS: Robert Perez had his streak of hitting safely in seven straight and ten of his last 11 games end when he struck out as a pinch-hitter last night… Jaycob Brugman has homered in three of his first six games for Tacoma… Chris Mariscal has a seven-game hitting streak.

OPPONENT NEWS: Nashville ended a five-game losing streak last night… Andy Ibanez has a seven-game hitting streak… MLB veteran Matt Davidson has reached base in 14 straight games, has a six-game hitting streak, and ranks sixth in the PCL with 17 home runs.

FAMILIAR FACES: Nashville catcher Adam Moore played for Tacoma in 2009-2010, and 2012. Good to see him still getting after it… reliever Josh Fields was briefly with Tacoma in 2011… Nashville hitting coach Howard “HoJo” Johnson served as Tacoma hitting coach in 2013.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 4:50 on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

In the PCL:

  • Sacramento hit four home runs and pitched a shutout in a 10-0 whitewashing of New Orleans last night. Yoanys Quiala tossed six scoreless innings.
  • Andrew Stevenson‘s tenth inning RBI single stood up for Fresno in a 9-8 win at Oklahoma City.
  • Memphis No. 3 and 4 hitters John Nagowski and Rangel Ravelo each had four hits in a 10-4 takedown in Reno.
  • El Paso brought up catcher Webster Rivas from Double-A, and he had two hits with a two-run homer to help the Chihuahuas to a 6-2 win at Omaha.
  • Albuquerque first baseman Roberto Ramos went deep and drove in two runs as the Isotopes won at Iowa, 8-4.
  • Round Rock coasted to a 10-0 win at Salt Lake, as Jose Urquidy tossed six scoreless innings. Yordan Alvarez hit a garbage time homer and he now has 23 dingers and 71 RBI on the year.
  • All of your favorite Las Vegas Aviators homered in an 8-2 win over San Antonio.